Writing about Images

Looking for The Castle

I’ve been looking for Castle Mountain for years.

I didn’t see it the first time I went through the Bow Valley, on a frosty morning in September 1979. My mate, Dean Mitchell and I were hitching a lift from Banff to Lake Louise, one stage on an epic journey across Canada after a gruelling season of work in the tobacco fields of Ontario. Perched in the back of a red pick-up truck ladened with bales of straw, I was too busy hanging on. 

Too cold to care.

Over two decades later, I returned to Canada to work in the oil fields of Alberta. My first road trip out of Calgary traced that same route through Banff National Park. 

I paid attention. 

It instantly registered as my version of The Lost World

I saw this huge craggy outcrop (2,766 m) rising out of river and forest. It instantly registered as my version of the South American mountain plateau depicted in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s science fiction novel, The Lost World, which I eagerly read as a young explorer in school. Like the reporter Edward Malone in that book, I knew that I wanted to make stories about this place, in my case, a visual narrative. 

It took a while.

Every time I journeyed west over the Rocky Mountains, I would glimpse up at The Castle and wonder where I should stop to take in more. I searched for places to photograph from: the road to Radium, the bridge across the Bow River, an exhausting hike up through the forest towards its daunting cliffs. 

Roads, bridges, and forests all got in the way. 

Somewhere there is a place to find and make that perfect landscape shot of Castle Mountain to place on my wall. 

I’m still looking.

Connect with your coordinates?

If you know of an excellent place to get to in the Bow Valley that gives an uninterrupted landscape view of the beautiful Castle Mountain, please drop me a note and share your joy, your what3words or other coordinates!

Betula Books

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